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I n t e r p r o f e s s i o n

d u

G r u y è r e

M a g a z i n e

No 44 - May 2018


Annual report 2017 of the Interprofession du Gruyère

























Impressum Publisher : Interprofession du Gruyère Case postale 12, CH - 1663 Pringy interprofession@gruyere.com www.gruyere.com

Editorial board : Interprofession du Gruyère

Translation : Ms Sarah Warburton

Graphic design : Effet-i-media bepbep@bluewin.ch

Message from the President 2017 ended with a positive outlook for the future. After two years of restricted production, we have succeeded in stabilising supply and demand again. The rise of the Swiss franc left its mark and lowered export volumes. At times, Gruyère AOP was up to 20% more expensive for foreign clients. Currently, the exchange rate should no longer be a handicap for exports. Production as a whole is of an excellent quality: only a very small quantity does not meet the necessary quality criteria. Despite permanent pressure on prices in the retail market, we have been able to maintain added value for the association’s members. I would like to briefly remind you what our Specifications require: All stages of the fabrication of an AOP labeled product are carried out according to recognised know-how from a limited geographical area and based upon a set of Specifications. It is the Federal Office for Agriculture which approves or rejects registration applications. Maximise quality, save the region’s heritage, maintain the added value of all the work carried out in the region, avoid the alteration of a speciality with such tradition behind it. On top of having an excellent product on their plate, consumers are able to know exactly what they are eating, where it comes from, who makes it and how it is made. One can add to this concerns regarding the detention of animals. How are they kept? How are they fed? Do they have free access to grazing?

The Gruyère AOP Specifications clearly define the milk production process, from the feeding of livestock to the delivery of milk twice daily to the dairy immediately after milking. Our Specifications and the Guide to Good Practice, respected and inspected, provide consumers with a guarantee that strict conditions are enforced. We do not prioritise productivity over ethics and artisanal tradition. According to the Brand Asset Valuator 2017, Le Gruyère AOP Switzerland features amongst the ten brands most well-known to Swiss consumers. This is the joyful result of our investment in national and international brand recognition over the course of several years. Sponsoring sports such as curling, cross-country skiing, athletics and ice hockey alongside having a presence at a multitude of regional events have greatly contributed to this success. Our Gruyère AOP is not only appreciated for its excellent and unique taste but also for the way in which all members of the association commit to respecting their animals, tradition, craftsmanship, the region and the environment on a daily basis. Long live Le Gruyère AOP Switzerland.

Oswald Kessler President of the Interprofession


General situation a doubt its taste, this should not be its only asset. All opinOver the course of its 20 year history, celebrated ion makers, and even more so the consumer, agree almost in 2017, the Interprofession du Gruyère has enunanimously that this strong image of Gruyère AOP creates dured 2 major market crises which each led to a a desire to buy. On a global scale, Gruyère AOP comes from 10% restriction on production. Although difficult, a small region - Western Switzerland - and is produced in this reduction was fortunately only temporary, decentralised structures. This aspect is without a doubt and enabled us to set off on the right foot after a strength of the product. What decentralised structures remedial measures ended. This was again the case are and what they represent is still to be defined. It must last year, where after a cautious start for the first be remembered that Gruyère’s AOP project, initiated with trimester at 93%, it became possible to increase the signing of the charter in 1992, sought to promote this this to 98% with an outlook at 100% for 2018. Even situation and guarantee its perenniality. At this time there if these decisions, in addition to unexpected milk was in fact talk of a large factory in Gruyère next to Singine. production levels over the summer, meant a less Several insightful individuals within the political and prothan ideal staggering of production, stock levels Tableau 1 were actually ideal at the end of the year. As a result, the decision Suisse Réserve Fonte Union USA Autres locale (RL) Européenne to impact quantity without modiRepartition Estof the Gruyère AOP consumption 14899 952 1180 7551 3043 1512 fying the price seems all the more during 2017 in tonnes coherent. In fact, Gruyère AOP has a value which should not be Others sold off cheaply on the market. 1’437 t. USA On a national level it has even be2’864 t. come clear that prices should be being raised to allow everyone, including frontline sales, to have a margin that guarantees a market in the long term and above all, needed reinvestment for the Switzerland future. Within the Gruyère asso14’678 t. ciation, the current way in which EU plus-value is distributed between 7’480 t. those involved in the making and especially the sales of this product is to be lauded.


This positive outlook is only valid if the excellent image of Gruyère AOP remains at its current level. If the intrinsic quality of this noble product is without

Total 28’565 t.

Processed Local cheese Reserve 1’100 t. (LR) 1’006 t.

fessional authorities thought that the product’s future was actually in its ability to differentiate itself from the multitude of cheeses that surround us. This concept has been tried and tested and has proved true so far. It has enabled economic growth within the association with a significant number of farms and dairies being renovated and cheese cellars being enlarged.

structures still artisanal and does the deciding role of a human being remain at the centre of the production process? Would these structures then be able to be handed over to an independent without a need for foreign capital? Reflection on such matters will be essential over the coming months to guarantee that future generations will still be able to make a living from Gruyère AOP.

This dynamism does not prioritise short term profit but allows everyone to develop. It can be seen that today the association is at a turning point with ever-expanding structures. The question is, are these dairies and cheese-making

Reflecting on important subjects such as these will enable Gruyère AOP to continue to shine for the pleasure of consumers here and elsewhere.

Monthly sales 2017 in tonnes 3’500 t.

3’000 t.

2’500 t.

2’000 t.


1’500 t.

1’000 t.


500 t.

0 Jan.

5 Feb. March April



July August Sept. Oct.



Quantity management Based upon decisions made in 2015, quantity management of Gruyère AOP in dairies has continued to follow the 3/9 system. In applying this principle and taking into account the market and stock situation, the governing bodies of the IPG decided upon a production level of 93% for the first 3 months of the year before raising this figure to 98% over the year for the remaining 9 months. This decision applied to traditional Gruyère AOP whilst Gruyère AOP Bio had its production capped at 96%. Given the evolution of stocks and sales it was however possible to also increase this figure to 98% for Gruyère AOP Bio come the end of the year. These decisions enabled us to have well distributed stock levels at the year’s end. As a reminder, new cheese volumes with less than 5 years of production were subject to double the reduction of the older sites. The overall figures pertaining to quantity include quantitative restrictions due to quality. This climbed to 95 tonnes in 2017 from 83 tonnes in 2016. Given that overall quality is good, it is likely that this figure will remain stable over the coming years.


With regards to Gruyère d’Alpage AOP, production quotas remained at 100% although certain adaptations were carried out in different mountain pastures.

Quality and potential fodder were taken into account, of course. Furthermore, and as noted in the report of the activity of the Alpage Commission, a site which in the past had operated as a dairy was reclassed for production of Gruyère d’Alpage AOP as of the 2017 season as it fully met the necessary conditions in the Specifications. The positive evolution of this market segment means the production of Gruyère d’Alpage AOP is flourishing at the heart of the large family of Gruyère AOP cheeses, much to the consumer’s delight.

Total production 2000-2017 in tonnes 30’000 t. 29’000 t. 28’000 t. 27’000 t. 26’000 t. 25’000 t. 24’000 t. 23’000 t. 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2000: 27’234.6 t. 2004: 27’224.2 t. 2008: 28’564.4 t. 2012: 29’068.3 t. 2016: 26’780.8 t.

2001: 27’893.8 t. 2005: 28’148.4 t. 2009: 28’749.1 t. 2013: 29’871.7 t. 2017: 29’512.9 t.

2002: 25’443.2 t. 2006: 28’883.1 t. 2010: 28’567.1 t. 2014: 29’833.2 t.

2003: 26’021.7 t. 2007: 28’710.0 t. 2011: 29’051.1 t. 2015: 29’048.7 t.

Market Situation The quantity of Gruyère AOP sold in 2017 was below that of 2016 but close to that of 2015. Nevertheless, it was important to find a perfect balance between production and potential sales so that vendors could carry out their work without undue stress. This challenge was accomplished by the end of the year although better sales in November and December would have been preferable. Regardless of this, it is encouraging that 2018 began on a positive note. Moreover, it is worth noting that both the price of milk and the price of the cheese when leaving the dairy remained at a level which allowed those involved to earn a decent living. In more detail, of the 28,565 tonnes sold in 2017, 11,787 tonnes of these were exported. Two countries stand out: the USA with a little under 3000 tonnes and slightly ahead of this, Germany with 3224 tonnes. Behind this is France with 1200 tonnes, losing further market share in 2017.

Nevertheless, the various efforts being made lead us to believe that it should be possible to return to 1500 to 1800 tonnes in the coming years. Two other European countries, Benelux and Great Britain, have encouraging figures. From this it can be seen that the promotional efforts being made by the Interprofession du Gruyère are coming to fruition. Overall, Gruyère AOP has now established itself in 58 countries, with its principal market, unsurprisingly, being Switzerland. Here it continues to have an appreciable volume despite strong competition from other regional cheeses and the exponential growth of imports. It is clear that given market distribution, a balance must be struck between defending our position as number 1 nationally and finding new market shares in international markets. It is therefore necessary to work in perfect coordination with the sales force, who also rely on unwavering quality and continual promotion to highlight the "Le Gruyère AOP Switzerland" brand.

Comparison of sales in tonnes 30’000 t.

25’000 t.







2011 20’000 t.

15’000 t.

10’000 t.


5’000 t.





The AOP file and the international situation 2017 saw the pursuit and defence of the name and brand "Le Gruyère AOP Switzerland" in Switzerland and around the world. Since Swissness came into force, it became possible to apply for a national trademark which would belong to the Interprofession du Gruyère. Registering for this became a reality in the first trimester of 2018. From this strong national foundation it will then be possible to reinforce the defence of our name on an international level. It goes without saying that protection such as this requires the association to faultlessly apply the stipulations of the Gruyère AOP Specifications and graphic charter which give precise instructions for the use of the "Le Gruyère AOP Switzerland" brand. In relation to this, the Organisme intercantonal de certification (OIC) verify all labels brought to market. It should be noted that overall these requirements are relatively well-respected nationally.


Internationally, the Interprofession du Gruyère is fighting to protect its name in different countries around the world. On many issues, this battle is fought in conjunction with French Gruyère IGP, French and European bodies and in particular the Institut National de l’original et de la qualité (INAO). As a first step, the full application of the requirements of the agreement with the European Union on the mutual recognition of names is verified. Then action is taken

against different market players who misuse the Gruyère name. Many cases have now been resolved to the satisfaction of all involved, namely resulting in the abandoning of products which do not correspond to the Specifications required by use of the Gruyère name. In countries further from home, several proceedings are ongoing to file trademarks in order to have a stronger legal base from which to fight usurpation. In order to carry out this work successfully, the Interprofession relies on its lawyers and those appointed responsible in the countries where a problem has been encountered. It is helped by Federal authorities such as the Federal Office for Agriculture and the Fe d e r a l I n s t i tu t e o f Intellectual Property, the European Union and the INAO, national and international organisations such as Sw i t ze r l a n d C h e e s e Marketing (SCM) and the Swiss Association for the promotion of the PDO and PGI, and also the association oriGIn whose actions are essential in establishing the different arguments used. For this reason, extra efforts have been made to have an antenna of oriGIn present on American soil. Defending the Gruyère name demands work around the clock to protect promotional activity and above all defend its full success on the market. The Interprofession invests a significant sum of money in this.

The quality of Gruyère AOP Final product testing and controls In accordance with the terms of the product Specifications, each lot of Gruyère AOP is subject to appraisal once it reaches an average age of 4 and a half months. Due to the watertight produ c t t r a c e a b i l i t y a ffo r d e d by casein marks, each cheese wheel can be precisely controlled at any given time. A first qualitative assessment is carried out at the 3 month mark when the cheese is removed from the dairy cellars. Grading itself is carried out by committee composed of an appraisal officer from the Interprofession du Gruyère and a co-expert currently working as a cheesemaker. Appeals can be made, after which the cheese is newly examined by the Board of Appeal composed of two representatives of the affineurs and a cheesemaker. The verdict is final. This set of proceedings guarantees the objectivity necessary for the qualitative assessment of Gruyère AOP sold on the market. Before leaving the cellars for good, Gruyère AOP wheels face a third assessment carried out by the affineur/vendor.

This important work demands professionalism at all times and ensures that only the highest quality Gruyère AOP makes its way onto the consumer’s table, be this in Switzerland or abroad. Overall, the traditional and organic Gruyère AOP produced in 2017 was excellent. The proportion of IB has continued to fall since 2014. Measures put in place over the last few years to ensure the quality of Gruyère AOP have come to fruition. As a result, 98.09% of batches were classed as IA quality. The proportion of batches obtaining 19 points or more dropped to 63.17% from 61.06% the previous year. Levels of 2nd choice are very low. It is worth noting that of the 48 appeals made against the taxation, about 55% of these won. These results allowed 5.28 million francs of quality premiums to be awarded. Gruyère d’Alpage AOP production also performed very well. Thanks to their knowledge and expertise, the cheesemakers were able to adapt to changing alpine conditions. 95,7% of production obtained IA classification while 64,08% attained 19 points or more.


Chemical analysis

The Quality Commission

Moisture content and fat content

As it has been stated in the chapter on the governing bodies within the Interprofession du Gruyère, the Quality Commission, and in particular a delegation of this commission, is called upon to find a suitable solution for members of the association who struggle to meet quality standards. This delegation was called upon on one occasion in 2017. The goal of this intervention is to give the production facilities concerned a tranquil economic outlook. This was successfully achieved in the different dairies of the Gruyère AOP association.

Systematic testing of the chemical composition of the cheese is carried out on each batch put on the market. 14 analyses were appealed, of which 7 won. It should be noted that over 2000 batches are tested. Overall compliance with the levels detailed in the Specifications is tested over an average of 6 months. It is of utmost importance that this target be fully met.

Specific testing The Interprofession analyses the bacteriological and hygienic quality of the cheese. In 2017, all of the samples taken tested negative for pathogens such as listeria. Gruyère AOP therefore fully complies with legal requirements. This is very important to the consumer buying additive-free Gruyère AOP.

Comparison of quality by civil year in tonnes 30’000 t. 2014 25’000 t.

2015 2016

20’000 t.


15’000 t.





Gives the right to the Gruyère AOP name





















5’000 t.




10’000 t.

National and international honours for Le Gruyère AOP

The Interprofession du Gruyère is proud to be able to count numerous prizewinners in the different competitions in which it has taken part throughout the year. It would like to congratulate all the members of the association who have helped us achieve these excellent results, made possible thanks to very high quality milk and an outstanding production and affinage process. The very high quality product which is emerging is the best guarantee for the future of Gruyère AOP.

Fribourg Society of Alpine Economics competition, Charmey, 21st July 2017

Such distinctions reinforce the positive image of our hard cheese and act as a reminder that quality goes hand in hand with the respect of tradition, nature, a know-how and a rigour in everyday work. Through these competitions, the work of the entire association is rewarded.

Silver medal: Le Gruyère d'Alpage AOP of Laurent and Nicolas Brodard, Alp La Guignarde

Mondial du Fromage et des Produits laitiers, Tours, France, 12th June 2017 This professional trade fair brought together 191 exhibitors from 30 different nationalities. Close to 650 cheeses and dairy products were presented in the event’s product contests on Monday 12th June 2017. La Fromagerie Moléson SA won 2 medals with their Gruyère AOP over the course of this competition: Gold medal with the « Super Gold » distinction, the category jury’s favourite: Le Gruyère AOP Vieux Suisse Moléson 18 months Silver medal : Le Gruyère AOP corsé Moléson 12 months These two cheeses were refined by Fromage Gruyère SA, Bulle

57 craftsmen and women attended this event organised by the Fribourg Society of Alpine Economics. Local products competed in celebration of the Society’s 120th anniversary. Le Gruyères d'Alpage AOP category Gold medal: Le Gruyère d'Alpage AOP of Alexandre Murith, Alp Provêta-Tsermont, refined by Fromage Gruyère SA, Bulle

Bronze medal: Le Gruyère d'Alpage AOP of Maurice Bapst, Alp Vacheresse Commended: Le Gruyère d'Alpage AOP of Jacques Ruffieux, Alp Tissiniva Commended: Le Gruyère d'Alpage AOP of Philippe and Samuel Dupasquier, Alp Le Lity These last 4 cheeses were refined by the Fribourg Cooperative of Alp Cheeses, Charmey. Moitié/Moitié (half and half) fondue category Gold medal: Fondue de l'Armailli by the Alp Cheese Producers Cooperative, Caves de la Tzintre, Charmey


International Cheese Awards 2017, Nantwich, England, 25th and 26th July 2017 Gruyère AOP was again a medal winner in this large international competition. Category: raw milk hard cheese Bronze medals

• Vincent Tyrode, L'Auberson dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Margot Fromages SA, Yverdon-les-Bains and presented by Walo von Mühlenen Ltd Very highly commended • Franz Jungo, Strauss dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Cremo von Mühlenen SA, Fribourg

• Philippe Geinoz, Sagnettes dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Margot Fromages SA, Yverdon-les-Bains and presented by Walo von Mühlenen Ltd Very highly commended • Alexandre Guex, Châtonnaye dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Cremo von Mühlenen SA, Fribourg

Swiss Local Products Contest, Delémont/Jura, 30 th September and 1st October 2017

Category: speciality cheese - hard cheese

The goal of the Contest was to facilitate direct contact between producers and consumers.

Silver medals • Serge Jeanmonod, La Côte-aux-Fées dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Margot Fromages SA, Yverdonles-Bains and presented by Walo von Mühlenen Ltd Very highly commended • Franz Jungo, Strauss dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Cremo von Mühlenen SA, Fribourg Category: hard cheese Gold Award medal • Philippe Geinoz, Sagnettes dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Margot Fromages SA, Yverdon-les-Bains and presented by Walo von Mühlenen Ltd Category: raw milk Gruyère AOP Gold medal • Jean-Marie Dunand, Le Crêt dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Fromage Gruyère SA, Bulle and presented by Marks and Spencers Silver medal • Jean-Marie Dunand, Le Crêt dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Fromage Gruyère SA, Bulle and presented by Waitrose Category: best Swiss cheese Silver medal


Bronze medals

• Philippe Geinoz, Sagnettes dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Margot Fromages SA, Yverdon-les-Bains and presented by Walo von Mühlenen Ltd

Several medals were awarded in honour of Gruyère AOP at the Swiss Local Products Contest held on the weekend of the 30th September and the 1st October 2017 in Délémont in the Jura.

Le Gruyère AOP was rewarded several times at the prize giving: Gold medals : Le Gruyère AOP • Christophe Cujean, Pomy dairy Refined by Mifroma SA, Ursy • Grégory Maisonneuve, Gumefens dairy Refined by Fromco SA, Moudon Le Gruyère d'Alpage AOP • Jacques Ruffieux, Alp Tissiniva Refined by the Fribourg cooperative of Alp cheeses, Charmey Organic fondue mix: • Pierre Buchillier, Les Moulins organic dairy Moitié-moitié (half and half) fondue • Michel Grossrieder, Moléson SA dairy Silver medals Le Gruyère AOP • Didier Germain, Les Martels dairy Refined by Fromco SA, Moudon Fondue mix • Jean-Charles Favre, Vuarmarens dairy • Jean-Daniel Privet, Le Pâquier dairy

Bronze medals Le Gruyère AOP • Michel Grossrieder, Moléson SA dairy Refined by Fromage Gruyère SA, Bulle Le Gruyère d'Alpage AOP • Philippe and Samuel Dupasquier, Alp Le Lity Refined by the Fribourg cooperative of Alp cheeses, Charmey

• Gilbert Golay, Penthéréaz dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Margot Fromages SA, Yverdon-les-Bains and presented by Clarke Gemini International Ltd • Serge Jeanmonod, La Côte-aux-Fées dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Margot Fromages SA, Yverdonles-Bains and presented by Clarke Gemini International Ltd

Fondue mix

• Olivier Habegger, Brenles-Chesalles-Sarzens HautThierdoz dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Fromco SA, Moudon and presented by Walo von Mühlenen Ltd

• Olivier Philipona, Vuadens dairy

Silver medals

OLMA Alpine Cheese Competition, St. Gallen, 13 th October 2017 Every year an alpine cheese competition takes place at OLMA, St. Gallen’s large trade fair. Le Gruyère d'Alpage AOP of Philippe Germain, Alp Pré de Bière, St-George, won third prize in the hard cheese category. This cheese was refined by the Société Magnenat SA (Fromage Gruyère SA, Bulle). World Cheese Awards, London, England, 17 th to 19 th November 2017 Le Gruyère AOP won a variety of medals at this large international competition. Best Le Gruyère Cheese Trophy • Cremo dairy, for its Gruyère AOP refined by Fromage Gruyère SA, Bulle Super Gold medal

• Markus Sturny, Lanthen dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Cremo Von Mühlenen SA, Fribourg • Cremo dairy, for its Gruyère AOP refined by Fromage Gruyère SA, Bulle • Adrian Scheiddegger, Niedermuhren dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Cremo Von Mühlenen SA, Fribourg • Franz Jungo, Strauss dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Cremo Von Mühlenen SA, Fribourg, 2 silver medals • Roland Pittet, Bouloz-Porsel dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Lustenberger & Durst AG, Cham Bronze medal • Adrian Scheiddegger, Niedermuhren dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Cremo Von Mühlenen, 2 bronze medals 2nd World Cup Fondue Championships, Tartegnin, 18th November 2017

• Cremo dairy, for its Gruyère AOP refined by Fromage Gruyère SA, Bulle

On Saturday 18th November 2017 the second edition of the World Cup Fondue Championships took place in the small village of Tartegnin in the canton of Vaud.

Gold medals

This year the two champions were:

• Alexandre Guex, Châtonnaye dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Cremo Von Mühlenen SA, Fribourg, 3 gold medals

Benedikt Wüthrich, Auboranges (FR) dairy, World Champion / Professional category

• Adrian Scheiddegger, Niedermuhren dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Cremo Von Mühlenen SA, Fribourg • Martial Bovay, Vaulion dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Fromco SA, Moudon • Philippe Dénervaud, Villaz-St-Pierre dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Fromco SA, Moudon • Vincent Tyrode, Auberson dairy, for his Gruyère AOP refined by Margot Fromages SA, Yverdon-les-Bains and presented by Clarke Gemini International Ltd

André Bourqui from Le Vaud (VD), World Champion / Amateur category Vaud Council of State’s Cheese of Excellence The Interprofession du Gruyère is delighted that the Vaud Council of State has chosen the Gruyère d’Alpage AOP from Combe Noire (Vallée de Joux), produced by Mr. Frédy Hauser and refined by Fromco SA in Moudon, to be its Cheese of Excellence 2018. This Gruyère AOP will be present at official Vaud Council of State events.


Marketing The association has been investing both at home and abroad to support sales of Gruyère AOP. The Swiss campaign under the slogan ‘Le Goût des Suisses depuis 1115’ is ongoing. In the first few months of the year, this slogan accompanied the TV weather forecast in the different regions of Switzerland. At the end of the year, this campaign was reinforced by advertising spots, a digital campaign and a poster campaign on public transport across Switzerland. Feedback from this has been very positive. Such campaigns have also been supported by the presence of Gruyère AOP at various supraregional trade fairs such as MUBA, BEA, LUGA,

ZUSPA, la Foire du Valais, OLMA, the Slow Food Market and the Autumnales in addition to the unmissable Salon des Goûts et Terroirs in Bulle. Such activity is coordinated with the AOP/IGP association and Swiss Cheese Marketing (SCM). A presence is also assured at more regional events, often attended by partners within the association who facilitate the discovery, or more accurately the rediscovery, of the different types of Gruyère AOP, Gruyère AOP Bio and Gruyère d’Alpage AOP. Contact with consumers at this level is very important. Discovering the product in this way is also reinforced by supermarket tastings, particularly in the German-speaking areas of Switzerland.

Comparison of production (casein markings) Number of wheels 90’000 2015


2016 70’000






40’000 30’000


20’000 10’000 0 Jan. Feb. March April May June July August Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

Yet it goes without saying that the primary ambassadors for Gruyère AOP are the association’s members. This is why the Interprofession du Gruyère provides all dairies with wheel stickers so that the ‘Le Gruyère AOP Switzerland’ brand is clearly visible during the sale of this noble cheese. A s i d e f r o m g e n e r a l a d ve r t i s i n g , Gruyère AOP also makes itself known through sponsoring. It had a strong presence at athletics competitions, be these international meetings such as Athletissima in Lausanne and Weltklasse in Zurich, or events such as Mille Gruyère, the competition for future hopefuls that is organised in conjunction with the Swiss Athletics Federation. The Interprofession du Gruyère is also involved at the level of the European Athletics Association, where it participates in different competitions organised by this body across Europe to showcase Gruyère AOP either directly to the spectators or by assuring a visible brand presence alongside the athletics track. One of the highlights of this project was a presence at the European Athletics Team Championships in Lille in France at the end of June. Gruyère AOP also accompanies the World Cup cross-country skiing competitions in Europe and worldwide. One of the aims of this new collaboration is to reinforce Gruyère AOP’s presence in the Nordic countries. The Swiss competitors’ successes are reinforcing the media’s coverage of this project. The Le Gruyère European Curling Championship was held this year at the end of November in Saint Gallen. It proved an excellent opportunity to promote the "Le Gruyère AOP

Switzerland" brand in Europe and around the world as TV coverage was broadcast far and wide, from the USA to Canada and even in Asian countries. At a national level, Gruyère AOP continues to support Fribourg Gottéron in the national ice hockey championships. Event sponsoring is an excellent way to increase brand visibility whilst facilitating an enhanced product presence directly alongside the event. In terms of culture, Gruyère AOP is present at the Paléo Festival in Nyon where hot fondue delights festival goers, and also at Zermatt Unplugged and the Swiss Food Festival in Zermatt. At this renowned international tourist town, visitors take electric buses displaying the colours of Gruyère AOP. As touched upon earlier, the Interprofession du Gruyère invests heavily abroad. It is supported in this by funds from the Swiss Confederation through its collaboration with Switzerland Cheese Marketing. In Germany, promotional activity is focused on publiprint advertising, tastings in the field and a large-scale merchandising programme in the west and south of the country. This activity is carried out in collaboration with Emmentaler AOP, Appenzeller and Tête de Moine AOP and aims to reinforce the distribution of Gruyère AOP. Germany represents 10% of Gruyère AOP sales and so it is important that we continue to develop sales of our cheese with Switzerland’s most important economic partner. Gruyère AOP was also showcased at the SCM stand at ANUGA in Cologne. As has been the case over the last few years, the situation remains difficult on the French market where the 1500 tonnes sold in 2016 could not be matched in 2017. Two sessions were held in conjunction with exporters to try to find a solution which would enable the return of a more significant market volume. Despite Gruyère AOP being

Sales 2016-2017 in tonnes 1’800 t.

Switzerland 2016

1’600 t.

Exportation 2016 Switzerland 2017

1’400 t.

Exportation 2017 1’200 t. 1’000 t. 800 t. 600 t. 400 t.


200 t. 0 Jan.


March April




August Sept.




fairly present in the sale of deli cut cheese, it is nearly nonexistent in the pre-packaged segment. Efforts need to be made to reinstate a place in this market. It is clear, however, that Gruyère AOP is subject to strong competition from quality labeled French cheese. A merchandising programme has also been put in place to support sales. Gruyère AOP continues its presence at the Salon de l’Agriculture and the AOP-IGP market in Bourg-en-Bresse in addition to the Foire de Lyon. Benelux continues to be an excellent market for Gruyère AOP which has seen growth in recent years. Gruyère AOP is well-distributed amongst individual retailers in Belgium and Holland. Promotional activity carried out in collaboration with the SCM association aims to support a presence in both large supermarket chains and speciality shops and included a notable participation at the Belgian cheesemakers-retailers evening. Like in previous years, sales in Italy and Spain have stagnated despite activity targeting large cities. How to approach future promotions in these two countries will require careful consideration in conjunction with SCM. Volumes continue to be encouraging in Great Britain. Marketing activities in the field are still bearing fruit. Gruyère AOP has participated in various shows where it has won several accolades and in doing so reinforced its notoriety. The Interprofession du Gruyère has increased marketing activity in the different countries labeled ‘new markets’ and has been supported in doing this by the Confederation. As mentioned earlier in the report, one of the accents of this programme is reinforcement in

the Nordic countries, be this Sweden, Norway, Finland or Denmark, with the aim of increasing the volume of sales in these countries. In collaboration with the sales force and in coordination with SCM, tasting sessions and other frontline sales promotions have been carried out. The same programme has been used to support efforts in Russia, for example, where logistical issues or technical obstacles are still problematic. Gruyère AOP is also present in Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea and China, and even further afield in the Southern hemisphere in Australia. If the association intends to increase future sales then a presence in these different countries is important. One of the most important countries is the USA which has about 10% of the sales volume. Again intense work is being carried out to reinforce the product’s notoriety via front line sales and a variety of shows and educational programmes. Collaborations are in place with Swiss Tourism, SWISS and other market players. Worth noting is a significant presence at two professional international trade fairs, the Fancy Food Show in January in San Francisco and the June Fancy Food Show in New York. Even though some obstacles have been encountered regarding exportation quotas, Canada is also a market with strong potential for Gruyère AOP, and the reason why certain promotional projects have been carried out in this country. Gruyère AOP’s work at a local level also has an international impact in the case of its collaboration with two of the canton of Vaud’s other AOP cheeses, Vacherin Mont d’Or AOP and Etivaz AOP, alongside the wine-making label Terravin. Within this framework and in light of the

Comparison of Gruyère AOP yearly exports in tonnes 3’500 t.

2001 2014

3’000 t.

2015 2016

2’500 t.


2’000 t. 1’500 t. 1’000 t.


500 t. 0 Germany France Italy Benelux UK Spain/ Others Portugal Europe



Total 2001: 9’775 (EU 6’608) Total 2002: 9’303 (EU 6’064) Total 2003: 9’407 (EU 5’948) Total 2004: 10’280 (EU 6’147) Total 2005: 10’600 (EU 6’794) Total 2006: 11’186 (EU 6’719) Total 2007: 10’886 (EU 6’917) Total 2008: 11’779 (EU 7’205) Total 2009: 10’974 (EU 7’346) Total 2010: 11’967 (EU 7’501) Total 2011: 11’670 (EU 7’673) Total 2012: 11’527 (EU 7’568) Total 2013: 12’207 (EU 7’757) Total 2014: 12’376 (EU 8’063) Total 2015: 11’956 (EU 7’307) Total 2016: 12’106 (EU 7’551) Total 2017: 11’787 (EU 7’480)

Project of the new "Maison du Gruyère"

significant presence of hotel schools with their bases in Vaud, rigorous work is being carried out at these institutions to introduce and explore these different products and their potential uses. This is a long-term project and one which will surely come to fruition in a few years time when the different students who have passed through these schools will assume positions of responsibility in various hotels or restaurants around the world. One of Gruyère AOP’s flagship windows to the world is, of course, the Maison du Gruyère, which is not only the seat of the Interprofession du Gruyère but also the site of an exhibition demonstrating how Gruyère is made which welcomes approximately 600,000 visitors a year. The Interprofession is actively working on a project to renovate it and a new Maison de Gruyère should be on the horizon for 2022-2025.

good fondues are made with at least 50% Gruyère AOP. Governing all this marketing activity is the website www. gruyere.com which is translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, English, Swedish, Finnish, Japanese and Russian. The focus is on different recipes which showcase Gruyère AOP. A new media presence is assured via Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Social media will need to be strengthened in the future. It is important that Le Gruyère AOP’s reputation in Switzerland and around the world be consolidated, and that the best way of working to achieve perfect coordination between Gruyère AOP and sales structures is found. The Gruyère association is committed to pursuing promotional activities supported by Confederation funds. In this context, it is important that the conditions that are put forward allow advertising which is appealing without having too heavy an administration cost. This will allow Swiss cheese’s position to be defended in Switzerland and around the world.

At the end of the year, Gruyère AOP supported the second edition of the Fondue World Cup in Tartegnin. Whilst the competition itself was great fun, the occasion served as a good reminder that all

Comparison of Gruyère AOP exports from January to March in tonnes 900 t.

2001 2015

800 t.

2016 2017

700 t.


600 t. 500 t. 400 t. 300 t. 200 t. 100 t. 0 Germany France Italy Benelux UK Spain/ Others Portugal Europe



Total 2001: 2’461 Total 2002: 2’421 Total 2003: 2’401 Total 2004: 2’588 Total 2005: 2’409 Total 2006: 2’602 Total 2007: 2’497 Total 2008: 3’024 Total 2009: 2’367 Total 2010: 3’066 Total 2011: 2’814 Total 2012: 2’796 Total 2013: 3’293 Total 2014: 2’979 Total 2015: 3’170 Total 2016: 2’820 Total 2017: 2’645 Total 2018: 3’163

(EU 1’752) (EU 1’563) (EU 1’524) (EU 1’492) (EU 1’693) (EU 1’734) (EU 1’742) (EU 1’816) (EU 1’813) (EU 1’906) (EU 1’849) (EU 1’881) (EU 2’020) (EU 1’915) (EU 1’998) (EU 1’906) (EU 1’745) (EU 1’994)


Memorable moments from June 1st 2017. Cheese platters and discussion between cheese industry professionals from the USA, Belgium, France and Switzerland.





2017 Events January to March 2017 Giant X'tour (d)

9th July 2017 Slow Up, La Gruyère

12th to 15th January 2017 Swiss Expo, Lausanne

13th to 16th July 2017 European Athletics Youth Championships (U-23), Bydgoszcz, Poland

21st to 24th January 2017 Winter Fancy Food Show and Cheesemonger Invitational, San Francisco 25th February to 5th March 2017 Paris International Agricultural Show (SIA) (i) 11th and 12th March 2017 AOC, AOP and IGP Market, Bourg-en-Bresse 17th to 27th March 2017 Foire de Lyon 5th to 9th April 2017 Zermatt Unplugged 28th April to 7th May 2017 BEA, Berne 28th April to 7th May 2017 LUGA, Lucerne Between May and September 2017 Regional finals of Mille Gruyère (b) 12th to 21st May 2017 Muba, Basel 3rd and 4th June 2017 Open Wine Cellars event in the canton of Vaud 23rd to 25th June 2017 European Athletics Team Championships, Lille


18th to 23rd July 2017 Paléo Festival, Nyon (g) 20th to 23rd July 2017 European Athletics Youth Championships (U-20), Grosseto, Italy 5th to 12th August 2017 International Alpine Film Festival, Les Diablerets 11th to 13th August 2017 Swiss Food Festival, Zermatt 22nd to 24th August 2017 Weltklasse, Zürich (k) 8th to 10th September 2017 Gordon Bennet, Epagny 15th and 16th September 2017 Open Bike, Haute-Gruyère 15th to 18th September 2017 Cheese Fair, Bra, Italy 29th September to 8th October 2017 Züspa, Zurich 29th September to 8th October 2017 Foire du Valais, Martigny 12th to 22nd October 2017 OLMA, Saint-Gallen

24th to 27th June 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show and Cheesemonger Invitational, New York

10th to 12th November 2017 Slow Food Market, Zurich

6th July 2017 Athletissima, Lausanne (c)

10th to 19th November 2017 Les Automnales, Geneva (j)










17th to 19th November 2017 World Cheese Awards, London, England

November 2017 to March 2018 Cross-country skiing World Cup (a)

17th to 25th November 2017 Le Gruyère European Curling Championship, St-Gallen, Switzerland (e)

1st and 2nd December 2017 Open Doors "Pintes ouvertes" event in the canton of Vaud

18 November 2017 World Fondue Championships, Tartegnin (l)

10th December 2017 European Cross countr y (running) Championships, Šamorín, Slovakia

22nd to 26th November 2017 Festival des rencontres de l’aventure, La Tour-de-Trême

Throughout the winter season Fribourg Gottéron (f)

29th November to 3rd December 2017 Salon des Goûts et Terroirs, Bulle

Year-round Poster campaign on the buses in Zermatt Swiss cheese on all SWISS International airlines economy flights departing from Switzerland


November 2017 to March 2018 Kids Nordic Tour, French-speaking part of Switzerland (h)



Governing bodies within the Interprofession du Gruyère Le d b y i t s Pr e s i d e n t O s wa l d Ke s s l e r, t h e Interprofession du Gruyère stayed the course in 2017 to return to production levels which met everyone’s expectations. The Committee met for 12 sessions, including a 2 day seminar in Macolin. Here, guidelines were reaffirmed with the help of Jean-Pierre Egger, former coach to the champions Valérie Adams and Werner Günthör in addition to Alinghi. He brought an emotional force to the seminar whilst linking sporting and intellectual effort. The Interprofession du Gruyère’s vision focuses upon strict quantity management and unwavering traceability whilst maintaining prices. The "Le Gruyère AOP Switzerland" brand flies the flag for the association and should be promoted whenever possible.

The Committee dealt with current business regarding such issues as the market, brand defense, research and the enforcement of the Specifications. Production levels were raised to 98%, leading to a relaxed extra-mural session held at Faverges to celebrate 25 years passing since the signing of the Gruyère Charter, a document which represents the foundations of what was to become the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). At the end of the year, the Committee also approved a document entitled ‘Cockpit,’ aimed at a better understanding of market developments in relation to production to improve assessment of stock modifications. Indicators such as these are indispensable for successful quantity management in the short and medium term.

Comparison of stock evolution (end of March 2018) in tonnes 12’000 t. 2015 2016

10’000 t.

2017 2018

8’000 t.

Forecast 2001

6’000 t.

4’000 t.


2’000 t.

0 Jan.

Feb. March April May June

July August Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

The Committee held its end of year session at the seat of the Confrérie des Vignerons in Vevey to show its support for the Fête des Vignerons for which Gruyère AOP will be a partner in 2019. At this session the Committee emphasised the importance of the role of human beings at each stage of the production process, and in particular at milking. The Committee voted for a milking system without automated attachment at the Grangeneuve farm in Posieux. The Board of Direction met on 4 occasions to coordinate the Committee’s activities and define staff salary policies. It also gave its recommendations in relation to the analytical report carried out in 2016. The conclusions drawn from this report and in particular the actions to be taken can be found in the Outlook for 2018. The Assembly of Delegates held 2 sessions, one for accounting and the annual report and the other for the budget. The latter was also when volumes for the following year were announced. This quantity has been fixed at 100% for 2018. The spring assembly was held at the historic site of Gruyères castle to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Interprofession du Gruyère in a suitably dignified manner in the sunshine. Edition 42 of L’Oiseau reports on this event in more detail. This occasion was also an opportunity to once again meet with the pioneers of the Interprofession du Gruyère’s early days. The Assembly was also a chance to thank Mr. Jean-Louis Andrey, founding member as President of Fribougeois Cheesemakers but also a committed appraisal officer and defender of Gruyère AOP ever since its creation. Mr. Jean-Louis Andrey can now enjoy a well-deserved retirement whilst observing a Gruyère AOP whose quality never fades. The Gruyère d’Alpage AOP Commission met on 4 occasions. It deals with issues specific to this speciality. Many important decisions were made in 2017 and as a result it was possible to fix a guide price for the Jura mountain pastures and those of the Prealps. Furthermore, the figure received by the Interprofession du Gruyère will change for 2019 production. Several quantity increases have been granted, depending, of course, on the quality and the amount of potential fodder at the summer mountain pas-

tures concerned in addition to marketing prospects. At the start of the season, the Commission also took note of the changing situation of a production site which went from making Gruyère AOP to Gruyère d’Alpage AOP. This was made possible only be adopting all of the requirements in the Specifications, most notably the use of cloth to press the cheese. The Bio Commission met 2 times to discuss the quantities and quality of organic production within the Gruyère AOP association. Today, quality is of primary concern in this production sector. There has also been an improvement in sales which makes selling the 1,100 tonnes allocated to this part of the market a possibility. Discussions are being carried out with Bio Suisse and within the Commision to find new markets and position Gruyère AOP Bio so that it has a more noticeable presence at home and abroad. In relation to this it is worth noting that the French market offers certain possibilities in light of the development of its organic sector. The Marketing Commision met on 4 occasions. It defined national and international marketing strategies for 2017, with a focus on opportunities for development in the new markets. The Marketing Commision will have to evolve in response to the conclusions drawn by the analytical report. This will also have an influence on the whole marketing sector and the activities of the Interprofession du Gruyère as a whole. The Planning Commission met on 2 occasions. They dealt with issues involving quantity management by acting upon several concerns about both the 93% and 98% restrictions. Decisions taken by this commission were not appealed. The Quality Commission met twice to deal with differing subjects. The Commision monitors the evolution of the quality of Gruyère AOP which is, on the whole, good. It is also responsible for checking that production techniques maintain the artisanal character of the cheese by giving it an unmistakable flavour. A certification working group was set up to ensure that hygiene standards inherent to the cheese-making process are not detrimental to Gruyère AOP itself. This commission met once. It is also worth noting that a specially appointed Commission derived from the Quality Commission met to support and attempt to find a solution


to a quality issue encountered by one dairy. This possibility is offered to all of the association’s partners to find the best way to proceed to again assure the best possible quality for the consumer. A special session on crop growing was organised to accompany research being carried out. This confirmed Comparison of stock evolution that farms using their own crops was (end of March 2018) in tonnes indeed the rule across the Gruyère AOP 9’000 t. association. The Administration continues to be led by Mr. Philippe Bardet, Director and Mr. Marc Gendre, Vice Director. The latter coordinates the quality team whose work is divided between Mr. Thierry Bize and Mr. Christophe Magne. In the middle of the year Mr. Jean-Louis Andrey, who was working at 60%, began his well-deserved retirement. The Marketing section is coordinated by the Director and is made up of Ms. Laure Rousseau, Ms. Marie L’Homme and Mr. Philippe Gremaud. This section will need to be reinforced to effectively carry out all the work required in promoting Gruyère AOP. Mr. Meinrad Gaillard works at 20% to manage the Interprofession du Gruyère’s promotional material. Secretarial work is covered by Ms. Christine Grandjean and Ms. Julie Sudan, each employed at 80%. Accounting is maintained by Ms. Magali Vuichard and Ms. Sandy Uldry, both working at 50%. This small but motivated team will continue its hard work to promote and defend Gruyère AOP in 2018.

excluding Alpage

8’000 t. 7’000 t. 6’000 t. 5’000 t. 4’000 t. 3’000 t. 2’000 t. 1’000 t. 0

Jan. Feb. March April May June July August Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. 2017 2018 Forecast

Comparison of Alpage production (casein markings) Number of wheels 18’000 16’000 14’000 12’000

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007


2008 2009


2010 2011



4’000 2’000 0

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

Committee members as of April 1st 2018

Committee of the Interprofession du Gruyère President

Oswald Kessler*



Romane Botteron Didier Roch* Nicolas Savary Pascal Surchat

La Sagne Ballens Sâles (Gruyère) Blessens

Cheese makers

Nicolas Schmoutz Adrian Scheidegger Didier Germain#* René Pernet

Mézières FR Niedermuhren Les Ponts-de-Martel Peney-le-Jorat


Jean-Marc Collomb Gilles Margot*2 Jean-Charles Michaud Gérald Roux*1 Ralph Perroud 3

Fromco SA, Moudon Margot Fromages SA, Yverdon Mifroma SA, Ursy Fromage Gruyère SA, Bulle Fromage Gruyère SA, Bulle


Jean-Pierre Huguenin Olivier Isler Daniel Koller Roland Sahli 4

Avocat, Boudry Fromarte, Berne PSL, Berne Gourmino AG, Lenzburg

# Vice-president * Member of the board of direction - *1 Until March 31st 2018 - *2 Since April 1st 2018 3 Replaces Mr. Gérald Roux as of June 19th 2018 4 Affineur coordinator


Outlook for 2018 F o r 2 01 8 , t h e g o v e r n i n g b o d i e s o f t h e Interprofession will be working on improving how the Interprofession functions based on the following precepts. Quantities • Put in place management and planning tools in a spirit of transparency and trust, with the goal of qualitative growth while defining an alert threshold. -> Since October 2017, a cockpit for stock and production management has been active and is in use. Alert thresholds are continually being checked. • Strengthen measures and decisions which enforce rules and combat imitation. Quality • Put in place a quality observation system (intrinsic and global) up to and including points of sale, while taking into account consumer expectations (panel). -> A mandate for this has been given to the Zollikofen Engineering School (HAFL). • Monitor the evolution of production and installation techniques which impact upon the quality of Gruyère AOP. -> A collaboration has been initiated with Agroscope, Arqha and Casei.

characteristics of Gruyère AOP. -> The Gruyère AOP milk producers group have appointed an external consultant who will define how farms can evolve in terms of their sustainability. • Analyse and define the aspects to be transmitted to clients and consumers. Brand and Marketing • Establish a clear brand and marketing strategy by objectively analysing the current situation. -> The Gruyère AOP refiners group are preparing a marketing strategy in conjunction with those concerned. This strategy will be based upon the current versions of the Guide to Good Practice and Specifications. • Reorganise the IPG’s marketing structure by redefining the targets, tasks and responsibilities of those concerned. • Create a communication concept. The future of the IPG • Put in place a risk analysis system for the IPG (Risk management). • Promote and further the identification of members in the sector to which they belong. -> Within their respective roles, each member of the association should do what they can to promote the "Le Gruyère AOP Switzerland" brand.

Profitability • Ensure the profitability of the association, its players and administration. • Analyse the implementation of a legally recognised internal commercial coordination structure.

Strengthened by these guidelines, the Interprofession intends on meeting future challenges head on so that Gruyère AOP can evolve for the consumer’s best interest whilst ensuring an equitable economic foundation for all of those involved in a daily basis in the making of this noble cheese.

Clients • Analyse and define the image, history, strengths and

Recapitulation of the distribution of the total production potential for Gruyère AOP per cheese dairy and per canton for 2018 Villages Canton FR



Quantities (Kg) (%) Nbr

Villages + Bio

Quantities (Kg) (%) Nbr


























Quantities (Kg)

Alpages (%)


Quantities (Kg) (%) Nbr

Quantities (Kg) (%) Nbr





























JUBE + al. 1
























Other cantons

























* Cheese dairies producing bio: 10 cheese dairies producing both traditional and bio Gruyère AOP plus 1 dairy producing only bio.





Interprofession du Gruyère Place de la Gare / P.O. Box 12, CH - 1663 Pringy-Gruyères interprofession@gruyere.com - www.gruyere.com


Profile for Gruyère AOP

Annual report 2017 of the Interprofession du Gruyère  

l'oiseau N°44 - May 2018

Annual report 2017 of the Interprofession du Gruyère  

l'oiseau N°44 - May 2018